Doncaster Knights 25 Old Albanian 10: Griff’s men edge closer to title

Doncaster Knights coach Clive Griffiths.
Doncaster Knights coach Clive Griffiths.

Clive Griffiths’ men took one step closer to the League One title with a 25-10 victory over Old Albanian.

With Doncaster chasing promotion and eight points clear of Rosslyn Park, whom they travel to for next weekend’s colossal fixture, Griffiths was able to shuffle the pack for the welcoming of their Hertfordshire counterparts.

The Welshman brought back the likes of Jacob Woodhouse and Richard List, marking his first start for the club in half a decade, having been a second half substitute in last week’s Esher victory.

And it looked to be a long trip back for the Hertfordshire side early on as Doncaster fired themselves in front in the third minute when Jamie Lennard kicked them into a 3-0 lead with a penalty.

However, the hosts were chasing the game when Johannes Lombaard hit back after bulldozing his way through several challenges to crash over in the seventh minute, without conversion.

Doncaster replied four minutes later when a well-worked move down the left flank saw Woodhouse mark his return with a try as he powered over. Lennard was unable to add to the scoreline, dragging his conversion to the left of the posts, as the scoreboard stayed 8-5 to the hosts.

Doncaster later thought they had gone ahead twice through tries, however, their scores were chalked off for forward passes as Griffiths’ men continued to hold onto their slender lead.

However, despite the early promise, the first half was a bit of a sluggish display from both sides only momentarily livened up when Bevon Armitage touched down in the 24th minute after a sustained bout of pressure.

Lennard slotted the conversion between the posts for a 15-5 scoreline - which proved to be the last scoring action of the half.

As the rain lashed down in their penultimate home fixture of the season, the table-topping Knights extended their lead when the visitors were penalised during their scrum and Lennard comfortably kicked over in the 48th minute for 18-5.

Doncaster’s midtable opponents then failed to cope with the home side’s fast handling moments later as Mat Clark released Paul Jarvis down the right who rode the challenges before finding Chris Walker to power over.

Lennard added the extras to send the Knights into a 25-5 lead with half an hour left to play.

Doncaster dominated possession for the final stages of the game as Armitage and company probed the backline of the visitors.

Despite an immense amount of pressure from Griffiths’ championship-chasers, it was Old Albanian who collected the final try of the game as they broke with pace down the right and touched down into the corner through Lloyd Bickle.

But that proved to be the final action of the game as Doncaster claimed the double over their opponents with a 25-10 victory.

Knights: Woodhouse, Jarvis, Clark, Armitage, Lewis, Lennard, Bravo, List, Santamaria, Davies, Challinor, Parsons, Walker, Hills, Jones. Replacements: Brugnara, Sodini, Kettle, Field, FLockhart.

Old Albanian: Marchon, Speirs, Lombaard, Holmes, Allan, Rayner, Liebenberg, Hughes, McNamee, Parilli, Hamilton, Bickle, Johnson, White, Stringer. Replacements: Marshall, Staff, Daish, Chambers, Vass.